How Likely is it that Fox News Falsifies Climate Science?

(updated below)

Media Matters is reporting that on December 4th Fox News manipulated the evidence from a poll to suggest that 94% of the US population thinks that scientists falsified evidence to support their beliefs about climate change. As can be seen, however, their numbers added up to 120%.

What happened? Well, here's the Rasmussen poll Fox & Friends cited. They asked respondents: "In order to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming, how likely is it that some scientists have falsified research data?" According to the poll, 35 percent thought it very likely, 24 percent somewhat likely, 21 percent not very likely, and 5 percent not likely at all (15 percent weren't sure).

Fox News' graphics department added together the "very likely" and "somewhat likely" numbers to reach 59 percent, and called that new group "somewhat likely." Then, for some reason, they threw in the 35 percent "very likely" as their own group, even though they already added that number to the "somewhat likely" percentage. Then they mashed together the "not very likely" and "not likely at all" groups, and threw the 15 percent who were unsure into the waste bin. Voila -- 120 percent.

So I'll conduct my own poll. In the comments below answer how likely is it that Fox intentionally manipulates the evidence to support their own theories and beliefs about global warming?

1. Not at all likely
2. Not very likely
3. Somewhat likely
4. WTF!? It's Fox News, what did you expect?

UPDATE: The Raw Story is also reporting another blatant error in Fox's reporting:

On Tuesday, as the network broadcast a speech by President Barack Obama in which the president announced that the US will spend $200 billion less on bank bailouts than previously estimated, the chyron at the bottom of the Fox News screen announced that the president's bailout savings would amount to ... $2 billion.

Raw Story has confirmed that, as of press time, Fox News hasn't corrected the error on air. But they certainly must know what the actual figure is, as the online version of the story correctly cited the $200-billion figure. (That bit of good news for taxpayers is buried way at the bottom of Fox's story.)

Fox's factual errors -- which somehow always seem to lean towards the network's conservative bias, rather than against it -- are quickly becoming the stuff of legend.

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Oh, come on. You can be more creative than that! What's your own category for #4?

At least Fox News even mentioned the whole scandal. It took 13 days for all other so called reporters to even notice what the hell was going on.

I find it hilarious that the enviroterrorists finally got exsposed for the frauds and cheats that they are. I hope cap and trade fails. I hope the next administration bans the EPA from existance. They are nothing but warts on a frog's ass.

By Rumpleforeskin (not verified) on 08 Dec 2009 #permalink

#4 of course, and will they report the death threats against climate scientists now?

There's an old cliche about never attributing to malice what can be explained by incompetence. And, of course, as 100% red-blooded hard-core Republicans, Mr. Murdoch's boys 'n' girls can plausibly claim incompetence from here to Crawford, Texas.

Still, I vote for # 4 with a footnote: They unintentionally botched their calculated distortion.

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 08 Dec 2009 #permalink

Frogs don't get warts. Warts are caused by the human papilloma virus (HPV) that does not affect amphibians. The African Wart Frog (Acantixalus sonjae) has the appearance of being covered in warts, but they are not related to HPV warts. You are far more likely to get warts than a frog. And I bet you didn't know that you can't get warts from touching a frog or toad. But you can get them from touching a redneck.
And in any case, why would a frog need an ass, or any member of the Equidae family for that reason?

Oh, and Fox News is an oxymoron.

I think they really just suffer from observation bias. They decide in advance what's true, then they only see what confirms that. I suspect if you asked one of them and he was being totally honest, he'd say they were fair and impartial, just like their slogan.

Self-deception is a wonderful thing.

By Chakolate (not verified) on 08 Dec 2009 #permalink


Yep, that's science. Turn off your computer, burn your house, and grub and kill for your own food.

Follow your faith.

I'm voting for #5. You're just part of the neo-Fascist Stalinist elite who control our media. ScienceBlogs is just part of the conspiracy.

There's an old cliche about never attributing to malice what can be explained by incompetence.

Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice.

there is no change in the climate al gore makes money lieing and if anyone thinks diff there as stupid as obama and the rest of dems


there is no change in the climate al gore makes money lieing and if anyone thinks diff there as stupid as obama and the rest of dems

Wayne, if you and Rumpleforeskin (@3) weren't quite patently illiterate self-deceiving morons you might be worth arguing with.

By John Grant (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

"Any sufficiently advanced incompetence is indistinguishable from malice."

That there's a keeper. I frequently cite the 'never attribute to malice' line and the 'sufficiently advanced technology' one, but never thought to merge them.

@John Grant: No, they still wouldn't be. There's no point in arguing even with an intelligent person if they refuse to restrict themselves to reality based arguments.

#5: Fox News is the devil...if the devil were minus a couple of chromosomes.

And I'm pleased to see the illiterate whackjobs have found your blog. Here's to crossing the species boundary to reach a broader audience!

#3.5 More than likely circumstantial, by evidence, for the intentional manipulation, but with no hard proof of an overall conspiracy at this writing.

Come to think of it, I did see a pie graph put out by FOX just about three weeks or so ago, on another unrelated subject, that added up to like a 140% or so.

This could be the manifestation of a repeating pattern instead of being just an aberration, or a one time amateurish edit goof ..... but one would have to set up a monitoring team to watch them 24/7 to be sure.

By SmokyMtnDave (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

If the incompetence always errs in favor of the network's nonexistent bias... well... that's just a lucky break.


HPV? Really? Don't they make a killer vaccine for that now? Maybe we should all go take Gardisil and die (so many girls already have).

Oh, and every living creature on earth has an ass. Have you ever seen an animal without an asshole? Idiot.

I think you more evolving to do.

Oh, and you who mock the term "enviroterrorists" must have never heard of that far left fascist terror organization Earth Liberation Front. These are the overweight still living in mom's basement freakshows that burn Hummer dealerships to make the earth green. Little do they know that they caused more pollution by burning the vehicles than the vehicles actually produce. Dumbasses. There is no difference between Bin laden and ELF. both should be tracked down and slaughtered for their dumbassness and their crimes against humanity. ELF is just a bunch of overweight homos who only get sex from their mother's giant cock. They are the trash of society.

By Rumpleforeskin (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

Dunc @ # 12 winz da thred!

By Pierce R. Butler (not verified) on 09 Dec 2009 #permalink

LOL! Well, of the choices given, I would have to say that #4 is the most accurate.